Mets Leave Colorado with Rocky Mountain High

Even the great John Denver couldn’t have written a song with the twists and turns the Mets experienced in Colorado over the weekend. When it was all said and done the Mets left Colorado on a Rocky Mountain High, taking 2 of 3 from the Rockies putting their record at 7-4 on the season which is tops in the National League East.

After being snowed out on Friday the Mets and Rockies split a double-header on Saturday with the Mets taking the series finale by a score of 2-1 on Sunday. The series will be remembered for Jacob deGrom’s 14 strikeout game in the series opener and James McCann’s throw to end the game and the series on Sunday.

Game one was all about Jacob deGrom who struck out 14 batters in just six innings in game one of a seven inning double header at Coors Field. At one point, deGrom struck out nine in a row one shy of Tom Seaver’s all-time record.

Unlike other epic deGrom outings though, the Mets actually pulled through with a victory. Jonathan Villar batted for deGrom in the top of the 7th. With the Mets down 3-2 and Albert Almora on first, Villar hit a ball into the right field corner.

Almora, who pinch ran for James McCann after McCann’s single, raced home to score just in front of the throw to tie the game at 3. Two batters later, Francisco Lindor had his biggest hit in his Met career when he hit a go-ahead single to drive in Villar to take the lead. Edwin Diaz came in and shut the door for the Mets to get the victory.

It was an epic finish to an epic performance. The Mets lost the second game of the double-header on Saturday by a score of 7-2 but Sunday’s series finale capped off the series with another memorable moment.

Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman looked great, pitching 8 strong innings while giving up just three hits. The Mets led 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with the Rockies heart of the order coming to the plate with two outs. Rockies Shortstop Trevor Story ripped a single off of Edwin Diaz to put the tying run on first base. Story then attempted to steal second base to get into scoring position for Charlie Blackmon.

Story was the National League Stolen Base leader in 2020 and got a good jump on Diaz but a tremendous throw by Catcher James McCann nailed Story at second and the Mets held on to win 2-1. It meant the Mets took two of three from the Rockies and got themselves feeling good leaving Colorado.

Feeling good is one thing but while the Mets pitching and defense looked great all series the offense continued to struggle in a hitter-friendly Coors Field. In three games the Mets scored just eight runs and hit just one home run, a solo home run by Pete Alonso in Game 1 of the double header on Saturday.

Outfielder Dom Smith was 0-7 in the series batting from the number 3 slot in both of his starts in the series. Second-baseman Jeff McNeil struggled during the series as well going just 2 for 11. He is now batting .176 through the first 11 games. The struggles also continued for Shortstop Francisco Lindor, who was just 2 for 10 in the series. Lindor’s average has dropped to .189 on the season. These are key figures on the Mets who hoped to find their groove in the high altitude, thin air in Colorado. That wasn’t the case.

There were some good signs on offense though. It looks like Michael Conforto has broken out of his slump. While he has still yet to homer on the season, he was 4 for 11 in the series with a double in the series finale. Pete Alonso was also 4 for 11 with a home run and two RBIs. That’s despite a miserable game in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday where Alonso struck out 3 times. Oh and don’t forget leadoff man Brandon Nimmo who was 4 for 10 in the series. His average is .447 on the season and he has an OPS of 1.070.

So while the Mets took 2 out of 3 from Colorado and there is a good feeling around this club, there is still some work to do. Scoring just 8 runs in a 3-game series in Colorado is alarming, especially as the Mets head to the Windy City for a three-game set to begin Tuesday at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.

While the Mets hoped to get into a rhythm after a roller coaster start to the season, the Chicago weather may have other plans. A mix of rain and snow is in the forecast for Tuesday with a high of just 40 degrees. Rain is also expected sometime on Wednesday. Whether the precipitation holds off is still a mystery but one thing for sure is that it will be cold at Wrigley and for a struggling offense that is not ideal.  The Mets hope to get to play their games on schedule in Chicago and hope to get some of their key players hitting on offense.

The Cubs, meanwhile, sit at 6-9 and have had some offensive struggles as well this season. That should make for an interesting series. The Mets will start Taijuan Walker on Tuesday and he is scheduled to be opposed by Jake Arrieta. David Peterson and Zach Davies are scheduled to square off on Wednesday, with Jacob deGrom and Trevor Williams scheduled to duel on Thursday.